After several months without restoring any tool, I’ve recovered this wooden rebate plane, wich I found in a flea market for 2 euro in a small mountain of junk and unusable things. It was a 24 mm thick rebate plane. It was badly twisted and worn, but there weren’t cracks or severe damages in the body, and in the restoration and reflattening process its thickness has become 22 mm, so I had have to resize the blade from 24 mm to 22 mm wide. Biggest problem for me has been the remake of blade bevel and sharpening-honing of the cutting edge, due to the shape of the blade that I found rather difficult to hold. Now it is working again.
Here you are some pics with before and after.
The wood is called in spanish [i]Encina[/i] ([i]Quercus ilex[/i]). I’ve found Holm Oak as translation. This species belongs to the family of Oak, although it is not a real oak. This wood is very hard and beatiful, but very prone to twisting and cracking. It was very common in wooden tools from many spanish tool makers, despite this problem, decades ago.
Tools of this kind an with this wood are very frequent in flea-markets in spain, badly twisted, worn, unsquared and cracked normally, but they can be bought for a few euros and sometimes they can be decently restored and come back to life. I bought two of them for five euros of the spanish maker “Castillo”. The first one I restored is the one on this post.
Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to make it work in the project for I restored it. Two days after taking these pics I had a fall at home and I broke two bones of my left wrist, so my woodworking will be stopped until I finish my rehabilitation.
Another thing that can be done with wooden planes like this is to convert them to grooving planes. You flip the blade so that the thin end is towards the work, sharpen that end, then remove material to the depth of groove you require, and the equally from either side remove material to clear the blade and thus set the distance of the groove from the edge of the work. Then you can attach a side fence and if you hit strange grain, just move the fence to the other side. If youtake a bit of extra time, you can also add a nicker as well.
Hey Julio, really sorry to hear about your fall, hope you make a swift recovery and can get back to woodworking soon.
Really interesting about the Holm Oak used by Spanish planemakers! I guess they leave it to season well in oversized blanks before making the planes. Good for repeat business if they don’t last forever 😉 I’ve wondered if the very long life of quality hand tools was a negative for the makers – people never need to replace the tools!
I refurbished my skew rebate plane this week – pic attached. It’s so much lighter to use than my Stanley 78, really nice. The skew pulls it into the corner of the rebate, and also makes the lovely shavings come out cleanly to the side.
I had to plane the sides and base flat as it was so worn from use – a good sign that it was a useful and much-used tool. Attached is an image of the rebates I made with it last night, for a picture frame. It really is a pleasure to use such a plane, highly recommended.
Hi Colin, that’s a clever adaptation, and of course grooving for drawers is such a common thing it makes sense to have a dedicated plane for it.
My wooden rebate plane pictured above has two nail holes in the base, where someone obviously attached a fence. Easier to make a neat job of the fence attachment on a grooving plane, since the fence registers to the large surface area on the side of the plane.
How to you like the quality of the Pinie planes btw?
I am mainland EUrope based, so wooden body planes are much more prevalent here. I have a number of them, various sizes, ages and manufacturers (my scrub plane has an eagle/swastika mark, so I know it dates to sometime before 1945). I like the Pinie planes, I have the basic ones, not the ones with the adjustment mechanisms, they are easy to work with, can take just as fine a shaving as a metal body plane, are easier to flatten, fettle, modify, more likely to survive a drop to the floor of the workshop, as well as being lighter. I am thinking to see if I can buy a couple and try to modify them to dovetail planes, but haven’t gotten around to that yet.
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